Spirituality and Psychotherapy: Integrating the Two Great Paths of Development [AUDIO]

In Integral Perspectives by Dr. Keith Witt

In May of 2013, Dr. Keith had the privilege to speak with Jeff Salzman about the integration of Spirituality and Psychotheraphy.  Jeff Salzman, of course, is an integralist, an evolutionary and public commentator, who runs the DailyEvolver website.  If you aren’t following him, you should be! Check out our conversation below, as well as an essay I wrote on the topic.
MP3 Download —————- Reprinted from The Daily Evolver, author: Jeff Salzman I had another great conversation with Dr. Keith Witt last week. Brother Keith has been practicing psychotherapy in Santa Barbara for over 40 years, and is also a master martial artist and devoted spiritual practitioner with experience in many traditions. Who better to talk to about integrating these two approaches to human development, a topic that causes so much confusion and consternation among seekers of higher consciousness?
A lot of spiritual teachers, because they deal so much in metaphor, begin to think you can transcend biology, like giving up all critical judgement and stuff like that. No, we can’t give up all critical judgement, because human nervous systems are making critical judgements regularly. But we can alter the way we habitually process them, and that’s spiritual growth.~Dr. Keith Witt
Spiritual teachers and psychotherapists are often as odds and people who participate in both modalities often reflect that conflict in their own minds. Which is the best way to go? Is it more fruitful to work with our personal history and iron out the stuck points in our lives (psychotherapy) or to work to transcend them by seeking enlightenment (spirituality)? Do we work with our story or drop our story? Most spiritual traditions are rooted in pre-modern schemas that see dysfunction as a spiritual problem, whether possession by evil spirits or a separation from God. Even a non-theistic religion like Buddhism perceives the manifest world as a fallen and corrupt place that is to be transcended (and in more advanced Buddhist thought, re-embraced) through meditation. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, works with the circumstances of our lives, and we are encouraged to look deeply into our own dramas and traumas, and even to re-experience them in the controlled psychotherapeutic container created with the therapist. Anyone who has practiced both systems can see the value of each, yet their trusted guides, the spiritual teachers and psychotherapists, often deny the veracity of the other approach. Continue reading this article on the excellent DailyEvolver.com